A few months back, we fell head-over-heels with the nostalgic psych pop sounds from Australian/British brother-sister group Family Friends. Pulling on influences from both classic and modern artist like The Brian Jonestown Massacre and Lana Del Rey, their sound transcends multiple generations, pleasing 90’s kids and current scenesters alike.
Their debut EP, Across the Water, recently dropped and we’re happily bringing you a first look at the accompanying music video to the title track, “Across the Water.” Written, produced, and recorded by members Rebecca and Tom Fitzsimons, their DIY style is evident, yet far from any amateurish associations one might assume when hearing that. It’s artfully crafted, boasting an evocative listening experience with tasteful guitar work and memorable lyrics brought to life by Rebecca’s lovely voice.
The music video brings warm associations of classic home movies, pairing perfectly with space their music occupies. It’s a simply a match made in heaven. Take a peek below.
We’re really excited to be teaming up with the Make It Funky collective for the second installment in a series of California showcases highlighting local talent. This time around, we’ll be at Brick & Mortar Music Hall in San Francisco on Saturday bringing yet another myriad of vibes featuring psychedelic indie-rockers Coyote Trickster with support from the soulful Fire and funktastic Color TV. To get you all familiar with our fantastically quirky headliners, we had a unique interview in which we asked the band members–Terence (bass), Paul (guitar), Eric (guitar and vocals) and Huli (drums)–a few questions and then had them finish ten sentences. Get to know the band through their answers and grab your tickets at the link below.
Eric: There was a big group of people at Santa Clara [University] that played music together. Kind of an amorphous group of people playing in a cloudy haze, bumping into each other and hearing things out. And then there was a party that came around and the people who were hosting wanted bands to play. So, the big blob full of people that played music together all kind of formed into different bands for the party and one of the bands was Coyote Trickster. That was our first gig. We played with a different drummer then. We moved up to San Francisco after college and then met Huli up here and started playing with him.
Terence: I think once I started playing with Eric–we lived in the same dorm freshman year– and jamming with these guys, I realized it was something I really want to be a huge part of my life. Long story short we ended up living together in a pretty cool space where we can live and play and create. We’re doing what we can and seeing where it goes.
TMN: Tell us a bit about the recording process behind your debut LP.
Paul: We did all the tracking at our house in San Francisco in our garage. I did guitar parts in my closet. Eric put up a bunch of mattresses for a vocal booth. The most disgusting Craigslist mattresses (laughs). We did all that and mixed at Tiny Telephone here in San Francisco and then we got some guy to master it pretty much because we saw he did something for Jerry Garcia.
TMN: Between the soulful vocals, psychedelic elements and jazzy jams, it’s pretty hard to place your music. How do you think about your sound?
Eric: I think we’ve all grown up in an age where genres are so fluid and changing all the time. We never listened to pure rock or pure soul or pure blues—it was always a mixture of all these things together. So, I think we always just search for a groove in all of the songs. They all have to have some kind of rhythm that hooks us and gets people moving. If you see us on stage we’re always bouncing a bit. That’s the core of anything we’re trying to find that works with the band–that kind of groove or rhythm that we all get locked into and excited by. We’re just looking for something that has that appealing background to it and then we’ll combine all the different pieces to fill around that groove.
FINISH THE SENTENCE…
When I was 13, I couldn’t stop listening to…
Huli: Halfway Between The Gutter And The Stars by Fatboy Slim
Paul: Led Zeppelin.
Terence: The Fugees.
Eric: I have the worst one out of everyone. I was probably rocking Third Eye Blind—the self titled album. That’s a great album.
The first song I ever made…
Huli: …was called “Healthy Gums” and only used FL Studio presets.
Paul: …was in high school, I don’t know what it was called, a country song with very dirty, sexual innuendo in the lyrics.
Eric: I probably stole from someone else and told people I made it. It was probably like a Good Charlotte chord progression that I slowed down.
Gewd laaawrd, it’s hard to come back to reality after a 3 day weekend or any vacation for that matter. If you are anything like us, you need a musical escape to help forget about the every day grind. Luckily we’ve made it easy for you to lose yourselves in a sweet little indie dojo. We know it’s not anywhere near the amazingness of a vacation, but let your imagination sail you away through the length of a playlist. You’ll be glad you did.
In our world of information-by-the-minute, endless communication methods and amounts, and constant connectivity, sometimes it’s a beautiful thing to just press play and sit back. Just last week, we took a break from the mounds of digital communications, put on one of our favorite artists on SoundCloud, and let the suggested songs lead us down a path of unplanned bliss. There were a couple of skips here and there, but then we landed on Songs of Water.
After hearing “11 Miles,” we immediately reached out for more information. After getting in touch with Stephen, we fired over a few questions to get to know this impressive act a little better.
TMN: Thank you for taking some time to talk to us today. When we stumbled across your SoundCloud the other day, we became instantly intrigued and wanted to know a little more. So, talk to us about how Songs of Water came to be.
SoW: Our music was born out of a community of friends who all loved to explore different sounds and create experimental art together.
TMN: Let’s go back before the start of the band. What’s your musical background like? Were you classically trained, or was it something you taught yourself?
SoW: Myself (Stephen Roach) and Luke Skaggs both grew up with strong bluegrass heritages. Jon Kliegle came from a family of traveling accordionists, Elisa Cox is classically trained, Michael Pritchard and Greg Willette are both self taught multi-instrumentalists and composers.
TMN: Looking back into your past, can you highlight five artists who helped influence what fans hear in Songs of Water?
Do you ever feel like a plastic bag? Drifting through the wind, wanting to start again? Do you ever feel, feel so paper thin? Like a house of cards, one blow from caving in? Do you ever feel already buried deep six feet under? Screams but no one seems to hear a thing. Do you know that there’s still a chance for you ’cause there’s a spark in you? You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine. Just own the night like the 4th of July…
You guys are all Fireworks!!! Enjoy our eclectic 4th of July playlist–fitting for your pre, during and post celebrations (don’t worry there’s no Katy Perry in there).
As a wise Ninja once said, “Fourth me up fam!” Peep below or check it on Soundcloud here.
With the plethora of genres, sub-genres and micro-genres (yes, we know how ridiculous that sounds) that we’re presented daily as bloggers, it’s not all that common to come across something that feels completely unique. Recently, we were introduced to Oakland three-piece Wicked Man, who possess a sound that’s nearly impossible to place, but draws on indie-folk, jazzy jams and impeccable guitar plucking combined with a nearly-sinister voice. Their debut EP, Fingership, felt like a project of discovery for the band but they’re gearing up for the follow-up and, if the first single is any indication, it’s one you’re going to want to look out for.
“Soil Leaking Water” is built on a sort of haunting, oscillating guitar accentuated by the mischievous vocals of frontman Yonatan Tietz, who’s voice finds itself somewhere between Bob Dylan and Alt-J’s Joe Newman. That instrumental loop is quickly followed by layered synths and steady percussion. From that base, the track develops into a magical composition invoking a range of emotions through out tied together by a common groove–whether it be from the guitar, synths or vocals. The complexity of the instrumentation and dynamic nature of the piece don’t take away from its accessibility, though, and neither does the unconventional crooning.
It’s a jam that oozes a variety of vibes that we’ll definitely be saving for our 4th of July BBQ. Do yourself a favor and give this multiple listens above–it gets better with each one. Wicked Man’s upcoming EP is due out mid-September.
If you’re a fan of this West Palm Beach band, you’re probably very familiar with what’s going on with their guitarist Thomas Fekete. If you’re not familiar with Surfer Blood, or the uphill battle they’ve been facing lately, then today is the day that this changes.
We first started posting their music back in ’03, becoming instantly enamored with “Weird Shapes.” The sharp guitar riffs definitely hooked us within minutes, followed by swooning over the juxtaposition between front man Jon Paul Pitts charming vocals, a spattering of hardcore screams, and glowing vocal harmonies from Thomas Fekete (guitar/backing vocals), Kevin Williams (bass guitar/backing vocals).
Since then, we’ve posted a handful of songs over the years, yet haven’t kept up with their greatness. It’s not that we’ve fallen out of love with their laid back, coastal sounds, it’s just that the amount of music that comes out on a daily basis is simply overwhelming.
With the news of guitarist Thomas Fekete’sstruggle with cancer, we thought it was the proper time to re-visit their catalog and put together a playlist of our favorite tunes. So please, take the next thirty minutes, or so, and enjoy our curation.
On a more serious note, we as music lovers take quite a bit for granted when it comes to our favorite bands. These guys are hitting the road for months on end, usually living out of a van, making less than we probably all think. What’s worse is, there is no health care for musicians. There is no 401k. There is no disability insurance that’s automatically provided when you choose your band name. Up until a certain point that few see, it’s entirely on them to make ends meet.
As music fans, it’s important that we take some time to help out these heroes that dedicate their lives to filling our headphones, venues, and festivals with our favorite songs. Please read Thomas’ personal note below, then head over to his Go Fund Me page and donate what you can. No amount is too small, as it all adds up to the collective amount of helping him out.
A few months back I had a major surgery to remove a large tumor from my abdomen. I was diagnosed with a very rare and aggressive cancer (a sarcoma), which unfortunately has moved. A few days ago, my doctors informed me that it had spread to my lungs and my spine.
Any bit of help would be massive for me, as I’m no longer able to tour and make a living, and my wonderful wife/best friend whom I just married in November will now be leaving work to help me throughout my treatment. If you can’t help, no worries whatsoever, all I ask is that you spread the word. Any extra funds collected when this is all said and done will be donated to further my doctor’s alternative cancer research. I not only feel great, but I am in great spirits, and I know this will soon be over like a bad dream. Please take care of yourselves, enjoy every single day. Life is beautiful. Love and light always.